Tuesday 28 September 2010

Sony announces Apple TV rival

Today Sony announced a standalone network media player, based on the company's acclaimed BRAVIA Internet Video service, retailing for £120 when it goes on sale next month in the UK.

The SMP-N100 will wirelessly stream LOVEFiLM and catchup channels, including Demand Five, 4oD, ITV Player and BBC iPlayer, anywhere in the home.

DLNA-friendly with access to Sony's video-on-demand service, Qirocity, the SMP-N100 is making a royal bid to dethrone the recently refreshed Apple TV in UK households.

Readers will be familiar with the machine's menu screen. The SMP-N100 uses the same XrossMedia Bar (XMB) as seen on a wide range of Sony's 'house of brands' including PlayStation and BRAVIA.

Given that Sony's latest range of Blu-ray disc players include BRAVIA Internet Video, for as little as £99, the SMP-N100 could be a hard sell unless Sony undercuts Apple TV's £99 price point. Where's Freeview+, which is available on PS3, Sony's other Trojan Horse, via PlayTV?

What do you think? Is the SMP-N100 a worthy challenger to Apple TV and its iTunes ecosystem?

Another contender for the multimedia crown, YouView (formerely Project Canvas), is on the horizon...

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